A Great Night in Harlem

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A Great Night in Harlem Benefit Concert is an annual series of concerts organised by the Jazz Foundation of America (JFA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, since 2001 to raise money for the Jazz Foundation's Musician Emergency Fund.


Wendy Oxenhorn was hired as Executive Director of the Jazz Foundation in August 2000 as their sole employee and, learning that there was only $7000 left in the fund, suggested a fundraising concert at the world-famous Apollo Theater. When she was told they could not, since she was not a concert producer, but mostly because there was no money to rent the Apollo, Oxenhorn approached the newest board member, Jarrett Lilien, who worked at E-Trade Financial Corp., and asked him for advice. He said she should give it a try and that he would put the money up to rent the Apollo.

The first benefit concert was staged at the Apollo in September 2001, the first concert in 50 years to bring jazz music back to the venue. It raised $350,000 and over 65 jazz legends performed.

By this time, the emergency caseload had tripled, and they were now helping 150 musician cases. Lauren Roberts, who had just graduated from Vassar College, joined the organization and together they ran Foundation, handling an average of 10 cases a day. Because of the success of the A Great Night in Harlem, they initiated the Jazz in the Schools Program, which generated employment for more than 400 elderly musicians in NYC since 9/11.

More and more cases were coming in and the annual A Great Night In Harlem concert was the only major funding source. Each year it grew, along with the Foundation's caseload.

Jarrett Lilien, who had helped fund the first Apollo "Great Night In Harlem" Concert stepped up to the plate, along with the his partners at E-Trade Financial Corp., they started the first Musicians Emergency Housing Fund which enabled the Jazz Foundation to pay rents and keep mortgages from foreclosure. The Jazz Foundation of America was now able to support hundreds of elderly musicians who had fallen behind due to illness or age, keeping hundreds from eviction and homelessness.[1]

Jarrett Lilien became tazzfoundation.orghe first president of the JFA. Within months, he was also made president of E-Trade Financial Corp. The Jazz Foundation had become a national organization helping musicians across the country. By 2009, they were handling approximately 500 emergency musician cases a year.[2]


A Great Night in Harlem was also released as a 2–CD set:
Category: Rock/Pop Albums, Jazz CDs, Jazz Instrument, Latin, Live Performances, Jazz Collections, Oldies Collections
Label: Playboy Jazz
Orig Year 2002
All Time Sales Rank: 172596
CD Universe Part number: 3441738
Discs: 2
Release Date: February 25, 2005
Studio/Live: Live
Mono/Stereo: Stereo
Producer: John Burk (Compilation)
Engineer: Josiah Gluck
Features solo and combo recordings of various jazz musicians during a benefit concert for the Jazz Musicians Emergency Relief Fund. Proceeds from the sale of this CD go to this fund.

Recorded live at the Apollo Theater, New York, on September 24, 2001. Includes liner notes by Nat Hentoff.

"Sunset & The Mockingbird" (Tommy Flanagan) was nominated for the 2003 Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Instrumental Solo.[3]

"To say this once-in-a-lifetime musical gathering made for 'A Great Night In Harlem' is an understatement! Many of jazz's greatest living musicians came together for the benefit of the Jazz Musicians Emergency Relief Fund. That magical night in Harlem has been preserved in a special 2 CD set for all to enjoy. Artists include Randy Brecker, Ron Carter, Kenny Barron, Regina Carter, Jimmy Owens, Cassandra Wilson, Lou Donaldson and many more. 2002."[4]


Oxenhorn conceived of the idea for the concerts during her first year as Executive Director of the JFA in 2000, after watching a 1994 documentary about jazz musicians called A Great Day in Harlem. The first concert, which took place in 2001, raised $350,000 for the foundation's Jazz Musicians Emergency Fund, and every year since the event has grown.[5]

On Monday, September 24, 2001, the JFA presented the first A Great Night in Harlem at the Apollo Theater on 125th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard, at 7 p.m.

The performance was MC'd by Bill Cosby, and Gil Noble, host of WABC-TV's Sunday television show Like It Is.[6]

The benefit for the Jazz Musicians' Emergency Fund included performances by: Frank Foster's "Swing Plus" Dance Band
Featuring: Frank Green, Jeremy Pelt, Cecil Bridgewater (trumpets)
Clark Gaton, Slide Hampton(trombones)
Bruce Williams, Keith Loftis, James Stewart (Saxophones)
Danny Mixon (piano), Earl May (bass), Dave Gibson (drums)
Joanne Brackeen (piano), Ron Carter (bass), Jimmy Cobb (drums)
Ray Barretto, Paquito D'Rivera (sax), Randy Brecker (trumpet)
Nnenna Freelon (vocals), with trio Lenny Barron, Peter Washington, Ben Riley, and Jon Faddis

Jam Session #1
Chris Anderson, John Ore, Louis Hayes, Slide Hampton, Steve Turre, Benny Powell, Phill Woods, Don Braden, Howard Johnson, and Melvin Sparks

Chika, Danny Mixon, Dave Gibson, James Commack, Jimmy Owens, and Russell Malone.
Tommy Flanagan Trio

Jam Session # 2
Antonio Hart, Charles Davis, Cecil Payne, Junior Mance, Jamil Nasser, Billy Hart, and Steve Turre
Kenny Barron and Regina Carter
Casandra Wilson Ahmad Jamal Trio and James Commack, Idris Muhammad, and George Coleman
Jam Session #3
Etta Jones, Irene Reid, Melba Joyce, Hilton Ruiz, Ron Carter, and Ben Riley. Plus Lou Donaldson and Frank Wess.
Fanfare for Four Trumpets (composed by Frank Foster) Randy Brecker, Cecil Bridgewater, Clark Terry, and Jimmy Owens.

Award Ceremony
Dr. Frank Forte & Englewood Hospital & Medical Center presented by Bill Cosby
Herb Storfer (JFA Co-Founder) presented by Leo Corbie & Wendy Atlas Oxenhorn
Cobi Narita presented by Abbey Lincoln

The performance featured such numbers as: "No Greater Love", "If I Had You", "Devil's in My Den", "Don't Explain", A Solo by Roy Haynes, "Fanfare for Four Trumpets", "Sunset and the Mockingbird", "Death Letter", "Con Alma", "We Have a Friend in Jesus", "Every Day I Have the Blues", and "Wee".

The 2002 recording of A Great Night in Harlem was released as a 2–CD set by Playboy Jazz PBD2-7502-2, with all the profits from the sale going to the Jazz Musicians’ Emergency Fund.[7]


On September 26, 2002, the JFA hosted the second annual fund-raising concert, again at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.

Performances in order of appearance:
Mark Whitfield and his Son Mark Jr.
Tri-Factor: Hamiet Bluiett, Billy Bang and Kahil El Zabar
Pete Cosey, Gary Bartz, John Stubblefield, J. T. Lewis, Baba Israel, Melvin Gibbs

Jim Hall and Ron Carter with Joe Lovano and Lewis Nash
Gil Noble hosts:
Abbey Lincoln and Hank Jones performed "The Nearness of You."
Ray Barretto and his Latin Ensemble with guest David Sanchez, John Bailey, John Di Martino, Vince Cherico, Hans Glawischnig, and Miguel Zenon.
Tribute to Widows by T. S. Monk
Jazzberry Jam: with Bertha Hope
Paula Hampton, Kim Clarke, Sue Terry, with Special Guest Chika
Clark Terry & Friends: with Eddie Bert, Winard Harper, Earl May, Harold Maybern, Cecil Payne, Jon Faddis, Danny Moore, Howard Johnson, Jimmy Heath, Eric Alexander, Andrew Nemr: "Just Friends"
Joe Piscopo, Mike Lee, Tony DeSare, Bucky Pizzarelli
Joe Lee Wilson, Junior Mance, Benny Powell, Bob Cranshaw, Charles Davis, Tootie Heath, Wendy Oxenhorn, Winard Harper: "Pink Champagne"
Freddie HubbardOctet: George Coleman, (Featured Soloist)"Red Clay", Jimmy Greene, and others.
George Benson, Lennie White, Buster Williams, James Williams, Candido, and Nicky Marrero.[8] and was hosted by several celebrities.[9]
Awards Segment:
Bill Cosby presented awards to Dr. Jack McConnell, and Congressman John Conyers
Skitch Henderson presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Clark Terry and Abbey Lincoln.
Dr. Billy Taylor presented the Humanitarian Award to Jimmy Owens.
Bill Cosby was the Master of Ceremonies, along with Joe Piscopo.
The 2002 concert honored Clark Terry and Congressman John Conyers[10]

In 2002 recording of the 2001 A Great Night in Harlem concert was released. All profits from the sale of this 2-CD set benefit the Jazz Foundation of America’s Jazz Musicians’ Emergency Fund.[11]


On September 26, 2003, at the Apollo Theater, the JFA held their third Annual Great Night In Harlem concert,[12] a benefit for The Jazz Musician's Emergency Fund.

The 2003 benefit was hosted by Bill Cosby, Chevy Chase, Whoopi Goldberg and Branford Marsalis.
The Music for Medicine Award was presented to Englewood Hospital & Medical Center.
The concert featured performances by: Irene Reid with Don Milletello, Randy Johnston, Billy Phipps and Tootsie Bean.
George Wein and Bill Cosby presented the "Saint of Jazz Award" to Harry Elias of JVC America. A surprise award was presented to Bill Cosby by Leo Corbie (Chairman of the Jazz Foundation of America), and Quincy Jones.

A Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Jimmy Heath.
Jimmy Heath and Clark Terry performed with Frank Wess, Jon Faddis, Bob Cranshaw, Marcus Gilmore, Antonio Hart, and Jeb Patton.
Whoopi Goldberg made an appearance on stage and introduced Simone (Nina Simone's daughter) sang a tribute to her mother with Nina's brother Sam Wayman, Laurence Holland, Bryan Post, Larry White, and Mario Giampaglia.

Gil Noble of Like It Is presented an award to Nat Hentoff.
The Jazz Foundation of America presented a tribute to Babatunde Olatunji.
Chevy Chase made an appearance on stage and played the piano.
Wendy Oxenhorn spoke on behalf of the Jazz Foundation, and introduces Jarrett Lillien of E-Trade Financial.
Jimmy Norman sang the song he co-wrote with Tony Shanahan, "Time is on my side", with Johnny Rosch, Paul Ossola, Kerryn Tolhurst, and Tony Beard.
Branford Marsalis hosted, and introduced Ladell McLin, Billy Cox and Swiss Chris Flueck in a segment directed by Giorgio Gomelsky and Billy Cox.
Stanley Jordan and Cassandra Wilson wrapped up the evening.[13]


The fourth A Great Night in Harlem concert was hosted by the JFA on October 28, 2004. The 2004 Benefit / Concert featured appearances by MCs Bill Cosby, Quincy Jones, Gil Noble, and Mario Van Peebles with his son Melvin Van Peebles, who surprised the event planners by opening the second half of the show playing two jazz tunes on piano, including a number by Thelonious Monk.

Among the featured performers were: Danny Mixon, Jimmy McGriff, Larry Lucie, Johnny Blowers, Max Lucas, Fred Staton, Carline Ray, Lloyd Mayers, Joey Morant, Benny Powell, Bill Wurtzel, and Cecil Payne. The Chico O'Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra directed by Arturo O'FarillJimmy Cozier, David Bixler, Michael Migliore, Peter Brainin, Maximillian Schweiger, Michael Mossman, Jim Seeley, Valery Ponomarev, Matt Hilgenburg, Gary Valente, Reynaldo Jorge, Sam Burtis, Jack Jeffers. Also, Reben Rodriguez, and Phoenix River.

Bill Cosby and Clark Terry presented a "surprise" award to Quincy Jones.

Quincy Jones introduced the tribute to Ray Charles, arranged by Al Jackson; Kenny Barron and Regina Carter played "Georgia on My Mind".

Diane Schuur sang "It Had to Be You".
Diane Schuur, Roberta Flack, and original "Raelette" Angie Workman sang "Hit the Road Jack", backed by The Chico O'Farrill Band.
Chris Thomas King sang "What'd I Say?"
Gil Noble (host of ABC's Like It Is / JFA Board Member), Wendy Oxenhorn (Executive Director, JFA), Jarrett Lillien (President, E -Trade Financial / JFA President) present.
Danny Aiello and his Band sang, "All of Me"
Performances by: Joe Geary, Lee Hudson, Kieth Ingram, Jimmy Prav, Mike Hashim, Dan Alvaro, Brad Shigeta, Walter Syzmanski. The Barry Harris Trio, Sweet Georgia Brown sang "Steam Roller."
Frank Selman, George Pollageorge, Thomas Gooding, Mark Greenberg, Prince Sabor.
A special performance by Johnnie Mae Dunson Smith with her son Jimmy "Prime Time" Smith, Craig Haynes, and Thomas Gooding.
James Blood Ulmer sang "Aren't You Glad to be in America" with Derek Grant.
Awards were also presented by Bill Cosby, to Douglas Duchak and Englewood Hospital & Medical Center: The Medicine for Music Award. Joe Serratelli, and John Selvaggio
The Saint of Jazz Award was presented to Carl Horton.

The benefit paid special tribute to African drummer Babatunde Olatunji; led by Sanga of The Valley, John Ward, Shawn Banks, Gary Fritz, Gabu, Daoud, Seku, Tonge, Checharp, Aba Shaini, and Bas.
A Recognition Award was presented to Lawrence Lucie and Cecil Payne.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Johnnie Mae Dunson Smith.
The benefit paid tribute to Elvin Jones; Brian Blade with Myron Walden.
The Harlem Blues & Jazz band played "Take the 'A' Train". Saxophonist Jimmy Heath received a JFA Lifetime Achievement Award. Health fronted his all-star Generations Octet featuring trumpeters Clark Terry and Jon Faddis, saxophonists Frank Wess and Antonio Hart, pianist Jeb Patton, bassist Bob Cranshaw and drummer Marcus Gilmore (17-year-old grandson of drum legend Roy Haynes).[14]


The fifth A Great Night in Harlem concert was hosted by the Jazz Foundation of America on May 4, 2006.[15]

The 2006 benefit / concert was hosted by Bill Cosby, Danny Glover, and Dr. Billy Taylor and featured performance by: The Newbirth Brass Band with special guests Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, and members of New Orleans' own traditional Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club.
Dr. Bill Cosby presented the coveted "Saint of Jazz Award" to Agnes Varis, for putting re-settled New Orleans Musicians back to work in eight states, and bring the music to thousands of children and senior citizens across the country.
The Medicine For Music Award was presented to Englewood Hospital & Medical Center's Andrew Durkin, Douglas Duchak, and Frank Forte.
Odetta performs with Seth Farber.
Dr. Michael White Original Liberty Band played an original tune by Buddy Bolden, credited in the early 1900s for being the first musician to ever make a "jazz sound" on his cornet.
James Blood Ulmer performed "Survivors of the Hurricane."
Davell Crawford (The "Prince of New Orleans") performed with Kermit Ruffins, Nashia Ruffins, Christine Ruffins and Mark Brooks.
Abbey Lincoln performs "Down Here Below" with Ron Carter. Lincoln also performed an original poem: "Where are the African Gods?"
Harold Mabern performed with Ron Carter, Ben Riley and Gary Bartz.
Wendy Oxenhorn and Jarett Lilien acknowledged other organizations / people who have helped the musicians of New Orleans: Dee Dee Acquisto, Karesha Harvey, Debbie Carroll of MusiCares, Barbara Davis of The Actors Fund, Gerri Hobdy of The Baton Rouge Foundation with Jazz at Lincoln Center's Wynton Marsalis and Derek Gordon, New Orleans Musician Clinic Kathy Richard and Bethany Bultman, Tim Duffy of The Rainmaker Foundation, David Freedman of WWOZ, Jackie Pal of Project Heal, and Miss Cleo.
Johnnie Mae Dunson Smith performed with her band: Jimmy "Prime time" Smith, Kenny Fitzgerald, Will Calhoun, and a surprise appearance by Henry Butler, Elvis Costello and Sweet Georgia Brown closed out the evening.

The concert was sponsored by: E-Trade / HIP/Health Plan on NY/ BET 24-Hour Jazz/ GMAC /Absolut Vodka/Time Warner/Morgan Stanley/The Village Voice/Essence Magazine/NASDAQ/Yamaha and Delta Song Air.[16]


The fifth Annual A Great Night in Harlem concert was hosted by the JFA on May 4, 2006. The concert was presented by Direct TV, BET JAZZ and the Apollo Theater. Bill Cosby, Danny Glover, Jimmy McGriff and more than 60 musicians performed at the Apollo that night.

The 2006 Great Night in Harlem benefit concert was also sponsored by E-Trade, Agvar Chemicals Inc., HIP Health Plan of New York, Time Warner Inc., and Official Airline Sponsor – Delta Air Lines Provide Unprecedented Support

The 2006 concert raised money for the replacement of "Fats" Domino’s piano to paying rent and mortgages for Katrina-affected musicians and their families, and to continue providing support for the Jazz Foundation of America as they assisted nearly 900 New Orleans musician emergency cases in the few short months since the hurricane.

Among the artists who performed that night were Abbey Lincoln, James Blood Ulmer, Dr. Michael White and the Original Liberty Jazz Band of New Orleans, Ron Carter, the legendary Odetta, Jimmy McGriff, Clark Terry, Will Calhoun, Harold Mabern, Ben Riley, George Cables, Gary Bartz and many more, including over 30 musicians from New Orleans.

Highlighting the evening was 85-year-old Johnnie Mae Dunson—who wrote tunes for Elvis and Muddy Waters and played drums for Jimmy Reed.

Honorees at the 2006 concert for their significant contributions to the cause: Agnes Varis - Agvar Chemicals, Inc.; Arthur H. Barnes - HIP Health Plan of N Y; Douglas Duchak & Dr. Frank Forte – Englewood Hospital & Medical Center; and Jimmy McGriff – legendary jazz artist.

Event sponsors included: Absolut Spirits, CREOLE Restaurant, Mary and Michael Jaharis, Lehman Brothers, Mylan Pharmaceuticals, VH1, BET Jazz, MTV Networks, Par Pharmaceuticals, Plantex USA Inc., Teva Pharmaceuticals, Beryl L. Snyder, SWAG, David A. Walden, Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM, Official Wine Sponsor – Coppola Wine, Official Coffee Sponsor – Illy Caffe, Billionaire Limousine Service.[17]


The sixth A Great Night in Harlem fundraiser concert was heldd on May 17, 2007, at the Apollo Theater, hosted by Bill Cosby, Danny Glover and Gil Noble.
The 2007 concert's theme was : A History of the Music.
Before Slavery: Traditional Music of Africa: Djele Lankandia Cissoko on vocals and the Kora, Makane Kouyate (Djembe drum) Bala Kouyate (Dundu drum), Driessa Kone (Djembe drum)
Congo Square: The Mardi Gras Indian Chiefs; Big Chief Donald Harrison Jr., Norwood Johnson, Theodore Dollis, Irving Bannister.
Spirituals: The Canan Baptist Praise Team; Ann Graham, Joelle Graham, Melissa Batchelor, Amber Evans, Andre Jackson, Walter Dickey, Michaiah Dominiquez, Tiffani Gray, Lee Jones, Virginia Batchelor, Winsome Reid, Min. Fred Bowers.
Early Blues: Johnnie Mae Dunson Smith, with her son Jimi "Prime time" Smith sing a tribute to Bessie Smith, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Robert Johnson, W. C. Handy, Ma Rainey, Muddy Waters, performing "Trouble Won't Let Me Be."
The First Man Who Made Jazz: The Original New Orleans Liberty Brass Band play tribute. Followed by a tribute to Louis Armstrong performed by Joey Morant.
Early Piano: Dr. John and Henry Butler ("Harlem Stride"), James P. Johnson, Fats Waller, Jelly Roll Morton, "St. Louis Blues".)
Swing Era: Duke Ellington Orchestra, led by the last original band member, Barrie Lee Hall.
A Tribute to Female Vocalists: Fay Victor sang for Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Ella Fitzgerald and Dakota Staton.
Latin Jazz: A tribute to Latin Jazz by Arturo O'Farrill with Candido.
BeBop Era: Tribute performed by Jimmy Heath, Junior Mance, Frank Wess, David "Fathead" Newman, Ben Riley, Jimmy Owens, Gary Bartz, and Bob Cranshaw.
R&B turns to Rock 'N' Roll: featured Jimmy Norman, co-writer of the song that made the Rolling Stones famous, "Time Is on My Side", who sang his original version written for Irma Thomas. His band: Bern Pizzatola, Freddy Simpson, Craig Haynes, and Paul Schaffer.
The Future of Jazz: Performances by Morgan McMillon, Richard Baskin, and Brother 2 Brother.
Pop Music: The 1970s: Davell Crawford performs "Everything Must Change", joined by Mister Gary Brown, who played an instrumental version of "Bridge Over Troubled Water".
Blues Jam Finale: This segment started off with Patti Bown, Jimmy Owens, Junior Mance, Victor Lewis, Thomas Gooding, Johnnie Mae Dunson Smith, Joe Gray, Jimi "Prime Time" Smith, Ladell McLin, Wendy Oxenhorn, and Sweet Georgia Brown.[18]


The seventh concert was hosted on May 29, 2008. The Masters of Ceremonies were Bill Cosby, Danny Glover and Chevy Chase. Featured performers were Randy Weston, and the Randy Weston Trio who performed "The Healers."
The Dave Brubeck Quartet with Michael Moore, Bobby Militello, and Randy Jones performing, "Take Five".
Dr. Michael White and The Original Liberty jazz Band performed, "Horn Man Blues."
Frank Foster & his Loud Minority Big Band perform "Blues in Hoss Flat," "Shiny Stockings," and "Don't Explain" with Nnenna Freelon. Arranged by Anita Brown. The band is: Cecil Bridgewater, Jimmy Heath, Frank Wess, Phil Woods, Bruce Williams, Joe Ford, Bill Saxton, Kieth Loftus, James Stewart, Danny Mixon, Vencent Gardener, Clark Gayton, Dion Tucker,Bill Lowe, Eddie Allen, Kenyatta Beasley, James Zollar, Earl Gardner, Kenny Davis, David Gibson.[4]
Hank Jones 90th Birthday Celebration: Hank Jones performed with Buster Williams and Norah Jones.
James Blood Ulmer performed "The Blues" with JT Lewis, Brandon Ross, Melvin Gibbs, Junior Mance, Gary Brown, Beverly "Guitar" Watkins, and Wendy Oxenhorn.

Marva Wright, Lonnie Youngblood, and Danny Mixon joined in the finale with Sweet Georgia Brown.

Awards were presented to Englewood Hospital & Medical Center, Claude Nobs / Montreux Jazz Festival.[19]


The eighth concert was hosted by the JFA on May 14, 2009. Great Night 2009 was hosted by The Sopranos' Michael Imperioli, Wendy Oxenhorn, and Dick Parsons. This year’s concert was billed as a “tribute to the blues." Before the show formally started, there was a relaxed pre-concert set from Piedmont bluesman John Dee Holeman, consisting of variations on blues classics like “Mojo Hand” and “Hoochie Coochie Man.”

Of course, there was still a healthy amount of jazz, including a guitar trio led by Dr. Frank Farty, the Englewood physician who has treated thousands of JFA referrals pro bono, leading accomplished jazz guitarists Gene Bertoncini and Bucky Pizzarelli through a rendition of “If I Had You.” Jazz pianist Eric Lewis also played a hypnotic power solo rendition of his “(Here) In Your Arms”, complete with rock-star lighting effects, sounding radically different from his stint with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.

There were several performances by New Orleans musicians; an all-star group including R&B vocalist Irma Thomas and blues piano-man Dr. John paid tribute to the late great funky pianist-vocalist Eddie Bo (Bocage). Thomas dug deep into the blues bag on “You can Have My Husband but Don’t Mess with My Man”, inspiring a Chuck Berry-style duckwalk from R&B guitarist Deacon John Moore.

NOLA blues were also represented in the person of Henry Butler. His blues-drenched cover of the Otis Redding standard “Dock of the Bay,” was an real audience pleaser. Perhaps the most recognizable musician of the evening was the penultimate Lou Reed, who also got in on the blues act with a medley that included Blind Lemon Jefferson’s “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean” as well as The Velvet Underground favorite “Romeo Had Juliet.”

In keeping with JFA tradition, this year’s Great Night closed with Sweet Georgia Brown belting out “Stormy Monday” and “Let the Good Times Roll,” the former featuring Wendy’s eagerly anticipated harmonica solo.[20]


The ninth concert was hosted by the Jazz Foundation of America on May 20, 2010. Great Night 2010 was hosted by Kevin Kline, Michael Imperioli, David Johansen, and Jazz Foundation Executive Director Wendy Oxenhorn. The concert was billed as “A History of the Music” and was dedicated to “The Spirit of Greatness.”

Pre-concert sets were performed by Mississippi juke joint blues master R. L. Boyce and Nigerian master drummer Baba Ola Jagun who has recorded and toured with legendary Afrobeat creator Fela Kuti.

Several awards were given out in the course of the evening. Dick Parsons and Chevy Chase presented the Medicine for Music Award to Jay Nadel and Dr. Frank Forte of Englewood Hospital & Medical Center and the Dr. Billy Taylor Humanitarian Award to Michael Devins of Debevoise & Plimpton LLC. Gil Noble was on hand to introduce honoree Ambassador Andrew Young who was presented the Spirit of Greatness Award by Jessye Norman. Ms. Norman also presented the Spirit of Greatness Award to honoree Dr. Agnes Varis. Lifetime Achievement Awards were given to saxophonist Max Lucas (posthumously), composer Benard Ighner, and “Little” Jimmy Scott.


The tenth anniversary of A Great Night in Harlem.


The eleventh annual Great Night in Harlem included an honorary segment dedicated to Dr. Agnes Varis, who died in July 2011.


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